THE DISPERSION OF GREEK EDUCATION 63 fashioned his son to virtue—an excellent work." It will be seen that the lessons the boy got from his father belong to a less sophisti- cated age than Cato's own. In their general character, indeed, they resemble the staple tasks of Spartan and early Jewish education. In addition to instruction in reading and the physical training needed for a soldier's life, they include a study of the "law"—that is, the Laws of the Twelve Tables, codified in 451-450 B.C.—which every boy from an early date had to learn to chant as he chanted the rude warlike lays in praise of his ancestors, and which continued to be a fundamental part of Roman education till the First Century B.C. (Cicero, who was born in 106 B.C., tells us that he learned the Laws in his boyhood, and that at a later time, when the learning of them was no longer customary, he taught them to his son.) There was included also a study of national history and practices, such as is common among all peoples who have risen to a consciousness of their own worth. The practical character of Roman education before 250 B.C. was even more marked in the case of boys approaching manhood. " Among our ancestors," Pliny the Younger (b. A.D. 62) tells us, " instruction was as much a matter of the eye as of the ear. By watching their elders the young people learned what they would soon be doing themselves, and what they in their turn would show their successors."* The main concerns of a Roman of good family were war and politics, and little thought was given to any form of knowledge which did not bear directly on the business of life. The book on the education of children, written by Cato as a counterblast to the new Greek learning, dealt only with the practical arts of oratory, medicine, farming, war, and juris- prudence. The good citizen, in his judgment, had no need for any knowledge outside these. But in spite of the strenuous opposition of old-fashioned people like Cato, the culture which (in Cicero's words) " poured in a great flood from Greece to Rome " from the middle of the Third to the close of the Second Century B.C., gradually submerged the more primitive Roman life. The times, indeed, were ready for change. Rome, having conquered Carthage by 303 B.C., was driven by the inevitable urge of her destiny into the series of struggles with the nations to the east that made her supreme in * Epistles> viii, 14.